I Shot a Big Buck! (Bear, Elk or Turkey) Now What?
You’ve come to the right place. CBM measures, records and maintains the official records of Michigan’s trophy deer, bear, elk and turkeys.
MEASURING IS FREE! Most hunters aren’t sure if their newly harvested animal is trophy class or not. They know it’s big but how big is it in terms of scoring. The answer is to get it measured for FREE and then you’ll know.
The first thing to know is the drying period. Antlers on deer and elk along with cleaned skulls of bear require a 60 day drying period before they can be officially measured. (A minimal amount of shrinkage takes place during this time) Make sure you maintain the skull plate on deer and elk – that’s the skull bone connecting the antlers. CBM uses the Boone and Crockett scoring system which in general uses length, width and thickness of the rack along with symmetry to come up with a score.
Turkeys are a little different. CBM uses a measuring system that combines the length of the beard and the length of both spurs to come up with a CBM score. There is no drying time required for turkeys.
Next contact an official CBM measurer (listed here). Many people can measure but only CBM trained and certified measurers can enter scores into the record book. Any official measurer in the state can measure your trophy. Usually it’s best to get one close to where you live. Another option is to bring it to the Michigan Deer and Turkey Spectacular held in February in Lansing. There are contest fees involved when you do it this way but you gain admission to the show for the whole weekend.
After your trophy has been measured and it qualifies for entry into CBM records you will go through the entry process. The fee for entry is $25.00 and you have the option of allocating that money to a one year membership, in which case record book entry is free. (Most people choose this option because all entries are free for members as part of their membership.)
After official entry the hunter will receive a certificate suitable for framing and the entry will appear in Buck Fax Magazine and well as the next publication of Michigan Big Game Records which comes out about every three years. The entry will now become part of the state’s permanent records.
Some people say, “I don’t care if it’s in the record book, I know how big it is.” The advantage of having your trophy recorded in the permanent records is that long after you are gone there may be some children, grandchildren or great grandchildren that can point to the book and say, “Great grandpa got one back in ‘08 that made the record book!”
The final piece to the puzzle is it buy the book. The 8th edition of CBM’s “Michigan Big Game Records” is currently available at www.michiganbiggamerecords.com or you can save credit card fees by sending a check or money order to: